Sun | Jan 17, 2021

Perfect midweek gift for punters

Published:Tuesday | August 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer

IT's deja vu, for PERFECT NEIGHBOUR and jockey Omar Walker in this afternoon's ninth race, back down in class among open allowance runners, at nine furlongs and 25 yards, after beating the level in the March 24 Bonnie Blue Flag Trophy.

Forced to immediately return to graded stakes, Wayne DaCosta's PERFECT NEIGHBOUR spent the mandatory four months at the top level contesting mid-distance to sprint races, facing his stablemates, SHE'S A MANEATER, in three of five races and SEEKING MY DREAM in a fourth.

Late last month, he closed into fourth place behind SHE'S A MANEATER, flying at the end of the Eros Trophy to finish on the tails of MONEY MAGNET and SIEMPRE BUENO, second and third, respectively, both hopelessly outclassed by his stablemate.

Now back down in class at his favourite distance, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR is a midweek gift to punters, running against six rivals - including stablemates UNCLE FRANK and DRUMMER BOY.

Anthony Nunes' ORPHEUS had beaten PERFECT NEIGHBOUR on his 2018 debut, February 28, but DaCosta's runner was returning off a near seven-month lay-up and venturing in his rival's mid-distance backyard, seven and a half furlongs, with top weight 126lb.

Though ORPHEUS has been begging for more ground after completing back-to-back victories with his late February win against PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, the five-year-old hasn't done much at exercise since returning from an almost four-month break late June.

Since working five and a half furlongs with KANALOA mid-June, ORPHEUS has only trotted in the mornings, even though he ran a storming third and lost in a driving finish at five furlongs straight to CAMPESINO and ARMAGEDDON in his second race back a month later.

With ORPHEUS' form appearing iffy and DRUMMER BOY having done next to nothing at exercise in preparation for a nine furlong and 25 yard race since competing in the St Leger, two and a half weeks ago, the horse to keep an eye on, as an exacta option, could be JAMAI RAJA.

Trainer Delroy Waugh appears to have got the five-year-old gelding back to form, considering how he sliced through LUNAR ROCKET three furlongs out and easily beat overnight allowance rivals on July 28.

However, there's no doubting PERFECT NEIGHBOUR with Walker aboard. Even at eight years old, DaCosta let him rip six furlongs in 1:14.2 last Thursday morning, signalling he's raring to go.